Recap: Amanda scurries down the front steps of her apartment to get the day's newspaper...which, to her dismay, is soaking wet so she swaps it with Billy's/Alison's dry paper. Hee! A few seconds later, Billy and Alison emerge from their apartment and announce that they're off to work...and Alison smugly points out to Amanda that she (Alison) has arrived at D&D before her (Amanda) every day this week. Amanda refrains from telling her what she can do with her sanctimonious 'tude and rushes back upstairs, where Jake is flexing shirtless. He smooches her and suggests they enjoy a morning romp, but she declines and says she has to get ready for work, then reminds him that he too shouldn't be late for work at her dad's garage.
Billy arrives at Escapade Magazine and finds an attractive woman sitting at his desk, puffing away on a cigarette. She introduces herself as Celia Morales, assumes he's her assistant, and prattles about how she was forced to take this lame staff writer job after getting laid off from a real publication: The L.A. Times. Billy informs her that he's a fellow staff writer - just as Nancy Donner wanders over to direct Celia to her workstation. Once she's out of earshot, Nancy assures Billy that despite being an egotistical pain in the ass, Celia is a very talented writer...but Billy's like 'whatever' and makes an ew face at the stinky ashtray Celia didn't think to take with her.
Michael drops by Kimberly's apartment unannounced, and she tells him she has nothing to say to him and that she's moving back to Cleveland asap. Michael begs her to not to throw her career away on account of his philandering 'cause he can't handle the guilt, then promises to leave her alone and only discuss hospital stuff when necessary. Kimberly promises to consider it, then tells him he can get lost now.
Over at D&D, Alison, Jo, Amanda, and Steve look over Jo's latest campaign photos, aka endless shots of Steve spooning with his computer hardware. Amanda points out that so far the focus has been too heavy on Steve's [dorkish] image and not heavy enough on substantive information, such as the technical data of the products he's trying to peddle. She snarks that MicroComp can't sell its computers on looks alone, says she's got other more important shit to do, and hastily exits the room. Steve assures Alison and Jo that he looooooves the approach of the campaign, then rushes out of the room to catch up with Amanda. Jo gushes to Alison about how interesting and bright Steve is, and thanks her for setting them up...and Alison grunts something unintelligible while staring forlornly into space.
Steve tells Amanda that he disagrees with her opinions 100%, and reminds her that since this is his campaign he calls the shots. Amanda counters that in her vast five years of advertising experience, she can pretty much guarantee that if they continue with the current Steve-centric strategy, the campaign is going to fail. Steve grins stupidly and says, "Then it's all our asses, right?", and Amanda brusquely retorts, "Nope. Just Alison's" ... and as she sashays off, he stares after her with a dumb looking grin on his face.
That evening at Shooters, Jo is flapping and gyrating with Steve on the dance floor...while Alison glowers in their direction, and an oblivious Billy bellyaches about having to work with a chain-smoking Celia Morales. Alison advises Billy to give Celia a chance, given that it was her first day...and a few seconds later, Jo and Steve take a break from dancing and join them at the bar. Jo lays it on thick about what a great dancer Steve is...and when he blushingly says he'd really like to jig some more, Jo complains she's tired and suggest he ask Alison, and Alison does her best not to look all too eager to oblige.
Later, the foursome is shooting pool when Steve suggests they all drive up to his ranch for the weekend. They're all, "That sounds like fun!", and Jo drags Steve over to the dance floor for one last round of flappy gyrating.
At Melrose Place, Jake grumbles to Amanda that he has to work all weekend 'cause he's fallen behind on fixing up all the cars that keep streaming in, and Amanda's like, "That's nice" as she smooches him and expresses an urgent need to ride his baloney pony. She strips naked on her way to the bedroom and barks at him to hit the lights...and as he obediently turns off the lamp, he glances out the window and happens to spot Jo and Steve enjoying a goodnight smoochfest at her front door. Downstairs, Alison is also peeping through her window at the lip-locked spectacle, her face scrunched disapprovingly.
The next morning, Billy and Alison arrive at the McMillan ranch and are greeted by Steve, who tells them that Jo is over at the stables, checking out which horse she wants to ride. As Billy grabs the overnight bags out of the car, Steve ushers Alison into the house and asks her whassup with Amanda's constant haughty 'tude, so Alison tells him that there's a perpetual awkwardness between them 'cause she used to be Billy's girlfriend. Steve's like, "Ouch" and promises to protect her while assigned to his campaign...and Billy overhears that last thing, but bursts into the guest bedroom as if he hadn't been eavesdropping. When Steve suggests they all go riding together, Alison chirps, "I'm in!" then tells Billy he should decline 'cause of his general ineptitude atop a horse.
Steve and Alison gallop around the vast ranch, half-heartedly looking for wherever Jo might have gone. Alison marvels at the beauty of the ranch and tells Steve she certainly hopes he appreciates what he has, and he says he does, but would loooooove to have someone special to share it all with. As he stares at her wistfully, she nervously chuckles and says he can have any woman he wants, and he replies, "Not anyone" which prompts her to gaze back at him contemplatively.
The two suddenly spot Billy headed towards them, jerking and flailing uncontrollably atop a prickly horse that seems desperate to get him the fuck off its back. A few seconds later, the horse starts bucking and whinnying, sending Billy airborne before he hits the ground with a thud. As Alison rushes over to make sure he's OK, he gets back atop the horse and shouts, "Race you back!" as the horse speeds back to the stables.
Papa Woodward drops Jake off at Amanda's apartment after a celebratory evening filled with boozing. Jake gushes to Amanda about what a great guy her pop is, and she's like, "Yeah whatever, let's have sex now" and mounts him - but he says he'd much prefer to pepper her with questions about her childhood...which seems a tad implausible given her genitals' proximity to his genitals, but OK. As Amanda forges ahead with her amorous foreplay, Jake asks if anyone ever called her Mandy in college, and she suddenly gets prickly and storms off to the bedroom and slams the door.
While in mid-smooch, Jo tells Steve she feels as if they're rushing their chemistry-free hook-up, then says she's not completely over her last squeeze: Jake. Steve kind of perks up at that tidbit and says that he too is trying to get over someone, then says it's never a good idea to get too involved with a person if the only purpose is getting over unresolved feelings for the person they'd much prefer to be hanging with. Jo's like, "Er, OK. I think we should sleep in separate bedrooms tonight", and he's like, "Can do!" and happily scampers off. LOL.
Alison accuses Billy of riding a horse he alarmingly had no clue how to control for the purpose of spying on her and Steve, then reminds him that Steve and Jo are in love. Billy makes a 'yeah right' face and says any fool can see that Jo and Steve are trying waaaaaay too hard to make something work that doesn't...and that it's possible for a person to be attracted to someone without anything sexual coming of it. Alison refuses to concede anything about her feelings for Steve and heads for the door...and promptly runs into Steve, who's staring up at the night sky. The two point out that neither is enjoying this lovely evening with their significant other...and when Steve leans in for a kiss, Alison pulls away and moans, "I can't", then scuttles back inside, leaving a bummed Steve staring despondently into space.
The next morning, Billy tells Steve that he and Alison are heading back to L.A. ... and when Steve assures him that nothing is going on between himself and Alison except the Compworld campaign, Billy's like, "Well duh" and pretends as though he never thought otherwise. He heads back inside to get the remainder of the bags - just as Alison emerges and covertly tells Steve that despite having everything in life she's ever wanted, she can't seem to squelch her feelings for him. He smiles happily...and when Bill reappears, he and Alison climb into the car and drive off.
Michael and Kimberly are in the x-ray room at the hospital, studying the brain scan of a twelve year old boy who, it turns out, doesn't have a deadly tumor after all. A happy Michael says, "This is one of those good days", and Kimberly dials back the joy by wryly muttering, "So far" and ambling off.
Steve drops Jo off at her apartment, and she tells him she had a great time at the ranch and suggests they slow things down with their dull-as-fuck romance. Steve makes a face and says they tried, quickly determined that there's zero chemistry between them, and makes clear he isn't willing to accept second best and doubts she is either. Jo's like, "Well, actually.." and Steve's like, "See you around!" and rushes off like he can't get away fast enough...and Jo stares after him looking miffed and insulted.
Alison and Billy get a flat tire on their way back to L.A. and then bicker about each other being attracted to Steve and Celia. Billy chides Alison for not being willing to admit that she has the hots for Steve, and suggests handing her over to the wealthy magnate...and as Alison mulls over the appeal of that upgrade, Billy accidentally loses his grip on the spare tire, which tumbles over a ravine. The two suddenly chuckle about their tire-less predicament and share a kissy canoodle.
That evening, Alison joins Jo, who's moping by the Melrose Place pool, lamenting the abrupt manner in which Steve gave her the heave-ho. She says she was somehow under the illusion that they were good together, but now realizes that he was looking for an easy out on account of being in love with someone else. Alison gets a spacey, hopeful look on her face and says that right now she can't think of a single pearl of wisdom to impart to her.
While canoodling in bed, Jake again presses Amanda to talk about herself, then asks why being asked about the nickname Mandy is so upsetting to her. Amanda sighs and tells him that that's what her mother used to call her, and that the day she deserted her family she'd left behind a note that read 'I'm going away for awhile. I love you, Mandy. I'll always love you.' She says she never saw her mother again, then tells Jake that since she's sufficiently soured the mood he should probably head downstairs to his place now - but he cuddles her more intensely and retorts, "No chance."
Celia notices the framed glam shot of Alison on Billy's desk and remarks on how cute and wholesome she looks, and that word around the office is that they're the perfect couple. She then cheekily decides that 'the last perfect couple' will be the topic of her next article, and Billy tells her to shut it 'cause she's getting on his nerves.
After another D&D brainstorming session about the MicroComp account, Amanda remarks to Jo that she sensed some tension between her and Steve and asks if they broke up. Jo just kind of shrugs and says that their romance never really got off the ground, and Amanda says it makes sense, given that he's so clearly into Alison. Jo tells her she's crazy and reminds her that Alison is in love with Billy, then needlessly snarks about her and Jake hooking up. Amanda says that her advanced fling with Jake has become the most intense relationship of her life, then tells Jo she's blind if she can't see that Alison only set her up with Steve so that Billy wouldn't get jealous. Jo's all, "Wha-a-a-a?" and makes a beeline over to the studio, where Alison is setting up for the next photoshoot, and comes right out and demands to know why she didn't mention Steve's attraction to her before she set the two of them up. Alison stares over at her in pretend stunned cluelessness and says she has no earthly idea what she's talking about. Jo angrily describes Steve as Alison's dream guy - rich and good looking - but warns that she'd better start being truthful, otherwise Billy is going to be very pissed at being the cuckold.
Over at the garage, Jake tells Papa Woodward about all the orders they've getting from Tokyo, and that he received a package without an addressee that detailed a very impressive profit margin from car sales. Papa Woodward chuckles condescendingly and asks where a numb-nut like him learned about profit margins, and Jake reminds him that he used to run his own bike shop [before Amanda unwittingly torched it]. Papa Woodward breezily explains that his cars are in demand 'cause they're so awesome, then tells Jake to focus more on his mechanic skills and less on the business part of the garage. Meow.
Billy tells Alison he's off to have drinks with his co-workers...and a few seconds after he leaves, Alison gets a call from Steve telling her he's swinging by to pick her up so they can pretend to discuss his advertising campaign some more.
Steve pulls up in front of the Melrose Place complex just as Jo returns home on her motorcycle. She grins and says, "This is a surprise!" - then frowns when she realizes that he's here to pick up Alison. She snarkishly asks him if Alison is the woman he's pining for...and when he ignores her by mutely watching Alison walking towards them, she mutters, "I thought so."
Jo runs into Jake, who's just finished swimming laps in the pool and asks her how things are going with Steve. Jo growls, "What don't you ask Amanda?" and asks him what he sees in that skank besides the sex and hot body. Jake somehow refrains from pointing out that at least Amanda's not a bitter shithead every minute of the day and insists she's a good person who's misunderstood by many - but Jo just lets out a caustic guffaw and says nothing could convince her that Amanda is anything other than a snake. Jake heads upstairs to Amanda's apartment, unaware that Amanda has eavesdropped on that entire conversation, and dishes about how Jo is very very angry, and is blaming her for her breakup with Steve. Amanda breezily chalks it up to Jo just lashing out, and that she deserves better than to be dating a gnome like Steve McMillan anyway. Jake says he's impressed by her serene attitude towards someone who's so relentlessly mean and bitchy towards her...and that to reward her he's up for some sexy time asap. Amanda's all, "Yippee!" and eagerly obliges, and the two start getting it on atop the couch.
Billy returns from his outing and looks bemused by the empty apartment...at the same time Alison and Steve are strolling on the beach. Alison tells Steve that when they first met everything was all business - but now it's rarely that 'cause of what a distraction she's become to him. Steve admits that he wasn't being fair to Jo when he asked her out, then explains that he hoped she'd help him getting over his feelings for her. Alison says she keeps hoping that her feelings for him will go away, 'cause sneaking around behind her friend's and boyfriend's back isn't her style...and he leans in for a smooch - but this time she puckers up and lets him kiss her.
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MELROSE PLACE HOMEPAGE
Recapper: Isabel K. French
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Snide recaps of television's most entertaining classics